Washington (D.C.): Google Executive Chairman Eric Schmidt said that a limit on H1B visa is the single stupidest policy in the entire American policy.
A serious argument is that a properly run tech company is really about having the best people in the world, Schmidt said in an event at MIT, where he was invited to talk about artificial intelligence and the future of technology.
“We want to have best people in the world regardless of sex, race or country, and we want them to work for us and not for our competitors,” he said.
Schmidt said that the stupid government policy that restricts hiring best people is not giving a fair chance of employment. He said the policy is antithetical to Google’s mission.
President Donald Trump has signed an executive order that cracked down on the H1B visa abuses and directed the federal departments to come up with proposals to reform the H1B visa program to serve the merit-based approach.
Google ranks twelve among all the visa-sponsoring companies. Many tech companies, including Google have been opposing H1B visa restrictions and Trump’s travel ban on seven countries, imposed in the beginning of his presidency. The travel ban impacted about 200 Google employees. The company sent a letter asking those staff members to immediately return to the country.
Talking about the travel ban Schmidt said, “recently been trumped by the following… where you (Trump administration) take highly legal and highly effective technical people from 7 countries and trap them outside the country… until our lawyers can spring them out.”
Google’s CEO Sundar Pichai, who is an Indian American, is also outspoken about recent Trump’s executive order to restrict the H1B visa program. Google’s letter to its staff stated that the executive order signed by Trump would not impact Googlers. However, It also stated that the human resources would keep a close eye on the matter.
While the federal departments are working on the proposals, there is an uncertainty about how the changes to H1B visa program would impact the H1B visa holders. Some Indian outsourcing companies are already planning to hire Americans to be better prepared by reducing their dependency on H1B visa program.
However, the impacts on companies like Google and Facebook will not as much as that of Indian outsourcing companies. The impact is expected to be minimum, but the uncertainty still exists. Google hires skilled workers and the median salary is around $130,000, and the company’s requirements meet the H1B visa standards that Trump’s team reportedly want to impose on the program.
“We want one hundred percent market share of those people (best people),” Schmidt said. “We should organize our company to be the most attractive place for them.”